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Title: Relationship between collagen and mineral in bone adapted for different biological function
Author: Elston, Pedro
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 2155
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Bone is a complex material composite of collagen, an organic protein that makes up much of mammalian connective tissue, and mineral, the inorganic calcium phosphate that provides stiffness. In nature bone is subjected to a number of forces that can differ drastically depending on the animal species and location in the body, hence bone material has adapted to suit particular functions through a series of modifications to its composition either in quality or in quantity. The exact nature of the relationship between the mineral and collagen phases are not well understood in terms of the impacts on material properties, nor is the process of mineralisation. Therefore the subject of this thesis is examining the nature of this relationship with a view to increasing our knowledge of bone material to better facilitate clinical treatment of bone disorders, the greatest of which is osteoporosis, estimated to affect 3 million individuals in the UK, the cause of 500,000 fractures yearly. To this end the following studies utilise two emerging in-vivo technologies, Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) and Reference Point Indentation (RPI). The results of the experiments show that bone properties, and indeed mineralisation is highly related with aspects of collagen cross-linking and fibre organisation. They also revealed that mineralisation levels do not correlate well with local bone properties, suggesting that the current approach to fragility evaluation which relies on analysing mineral content and distribution, is not adequate. It provides evidence that suggests Raman spectroscopy can detect specific collagen modifications which correlate with bone properties. The work presented here aids our understanding of the relationships between mineral, collagen and material properties and furthers the use of in-vivo technologies which is of great significance in their respective developments as potentially widespread clinical tools. The ability to access the organic phase of bone and the bone properties both directly and locally could enable a more accurate, immediate and without ionising radiation alternative to current detection of bone defects and fragility.
Supervisor: Birch, H. ; Kerns, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available